NZTE Wins Top Leadership Award in Diversity Works 2021 Awards

Congratulations to our Partners, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise on taking the crown for an impressive award at this years’ Diversity Works 2021 Awards!

They’re the deserving winners of the Leadership Award for medium-to-large organisations, after their recent embarkment on a project to better set the organisational tone.

NZTE has made some terrific strides in their diversity and inclusion journey, which has been centred around the original focus areas of Women in Leadership and growing Māori capability and representation in the last three years.

However, this project opened the aperture to explore things at a both a wider and deeper level. It was a leadership and culture-focused project, sparked after identifying a knowledge gap: in just how inclusive did NZTE feel to the people working there?

They brought in a neutral third party to conduct research around their global team which explored identity and mental wellbeing, among other topics.

As Diversity and Inclusion Programme Advisor Annabel Coxon says, “The questions, which touched on gender identity and mental health, introduced new concepts to our people, and to our leaders, another step on our continuous learning journey.”

“The questions introduced new concepts to our people and to our leaders,” Annabel Coxon.

As a result, the learnings from this research have blossomed into two new focus areas for NZTE: cultural intelligence and leadership, which have “been highlighted to complement areas the organisation is already working on.” These focuses will:

  • Maximise the performance of a culturally diverse workforce
  • Be better at making space for cultures other than ‘Kiwi’
  • Upskilling leaders to lead diverse teams
  • Sidestep leaders being critical to people’s experience of working at NZTE
  • Most importantly: set the tone at the top for global success.


The results have rippled through NZTE, with team members being instrumental in role-modelling the expected behaviours and shared stories of vulnerability with the wider team.

For example, Chief Digital Officer Richard Kay recently spoke to the organisation about his personal experiences of mental health difficulties and encouraged people to seek help, and CEO Peter Chrisp spoke of a personal experience of exclusion at an organisation-wide meeting. Additionally, “Peter has asked questions to further his knowledge, and sought to understand more about topics outside of his comfort zone, like gender identity and the use of gender pronouns. By showing this curiosity and being humble, he sets an example to others at NZTE,” says Annabel.

As a result, the non-promoter score shows that NZTE is a great place to work and that the majority of staff believe that NZTE is committed to diversity and inclusion, with 88% agreeing it is important in the workplace.

“Leadership is about upskilling our leaders to lead diverse teams. Our research highlighted that our leaders are critical to people’s experience of working at NZTE. Our global group also identified that leaders must set the tone at the top to achieve success.”

Watch the video exploring NZTE’s Leadership Award and read the full scoop on Diversity Works’ website HERE.